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This Week in Motoring: January 4, 2016

Ferrari and Fiat finally split, Bentley is using stone for trim pieces, Pep Boys is sold off and more.

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Ferrari and Fiat finally split, Bentley is using stone for trim pieces, Pep Boys is sold off and more.

On the Radar


The Latest in Motoring News


Cars Like Us, CEOs Love Us

In the final days of 2015, iconic auto-parts chain Pep Boys terminated a merger with tire manufacturer Bridgestone then signed a $1 billion sale to Carl Ichan. It’s speculated that Ichan plans to merge Pep Boys with Auto Plus, a chain Ichan acquired earlier in 2015.

Learn More: Here

Bentley Gets Stoned

Bentley’s bespoke coachbuilding division, Mulliner, now offers a stone veneer to Continental and Flying Spur customers. The slate and quartzite veneers, sourced from Rajasthan and Pradesh in India, took over 200 million years to form. At 0.1mm thick, the stone is translucent enough to show off its natural grain and is light enough to be a sensible alternative to the wood trim options.

Learn More: Here

Born in Germany, Made in China, Now

Gumbert, makers of the Apollo (at one time the fastest car around the Top Gear test track), after going bankrupt in 2013, have supposedly been bought by Chinese exotic car workshop SPS Automotive. Gumpert is said to be present at this year’s Geneva Auto Show; whether or not a new car will be present remains to be seen.

Learn More: Here

Fiat and Ferrari Are Finito

Fiat-Chrysler distributed its remaining 80 percent stake in Ferrari. Usually when a big manufacturer drops a high-end marque, it spells disaster for the smaller entity. But this is Ferrari we’re talking about, so something tells us they’ll be just fine.

Learn More: Here

Opening Stage of Dakar, Delayed

The 2016 Dakar Rally is off to a difficult start. After spectators were injured in the prologue special stage, the opening stage was delayed to bad weather. Seeing as Dakar isn’t known for its race-friendly conditions, you can bet Sunday’s delay wasn’t because of a little fog and drizzle.

Learn More: Here

A Hardcore Huayra

If the Pagani Zonda R is anything to go by, the upcoming hardcore version of the Huayra should be something special. Facts and figures are pure speculation at this point, but we’ll get the full scoop when the supercar debuts at this year’s Geneva Auto Show.

Learn More: Here


Reviews and Buying Guides


Advice from the Crew


The Greatest Commuter Car On Earth (For Now Anyway)

At under $30,000 — fully spec’d out — the Honda Civic Touring is a commuter worth considering. Read the Review


The Find


What to Buy, Now


1990 BMW 3-Series 320is

It may look like a toned-down first-gen M3, but this 1990 320is with the M Tech II package gives its homologated big brother a run for its money. Though it has less power, it’s lighter and isn’t considered a “collector.” Good money spent no matter how you look at it.

Buy Now: $27,100

Noteworthy Reads


Motoring Stories from Around the Web


Times are changing, fast, and no one sees this clearer than the big car companies. Which is why the smarter ones, like Ford, are looking farther ahead than just tomorrow’s profit.

Ironically, rare muscle cars are a dime a dozen. But the ones that have stayed in the family since they were taken off the show room floor, and have lived on two continents, are one in a million.


Looking Ahead


What We’re Driving Now


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